Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture
O Master Who loves mankind, illuminate our hearts with the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our mind to understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that we may overcome all carnal desires, entering upon a spiritual life and understanding and acting in all things according to Your holy will. For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God, and to You we give glory together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 58:1-11
“Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.
Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high.
Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 43:26-31
And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth.
Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.
Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.
Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the bread.”
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 21:23-22:4
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
A proud and haughty man; “Scoffer” is his name; he acts with arrogant pride.
The desire of the slothful kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent!
A false witness shall perish, but the man who hears him will speak endlessly.
A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way.
There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD.
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor have this in common, the LORD is the maker of them all.
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.
Saints and Feasts
Calliopus and Akylina the Martyrs; Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America; Righteous Father Savvas the New of Kalymnos; George, Bishop of Lesvos; Gerasimos the God-Bearer of Byzantium